Rick Davis, a beloved coaching figure in Danbury and the FCIAC who once took the Hatters within yards of playing for a state championship, died Monday after a yearlong battle with cancer.
Davis, who coached Danbury from 2001-2008, died at his daughter’s home in Maryland, where he had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer at nearby John’s Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was diagnosed with the disease in January.
Davis took the Hatters to two FCIAC championship games in 2001 and 2003. Behind quarterback Glen Mourning, Davis’ 2003 team was literally on the doorstep of playing for the Class LL championship. But a dropped pass in the end zone with seconds remaining cost the Hatters a 18-13 loss to West Haven.
Davis’ teams never again reached those heights. The Hatters went 6-4 in 2004, but never finished above .500 over the next four seasons.
He resigned after the 2008 season with a record of 47-36-4 to spend time with his grandchildren.
“He was so much more than a football coach,” said Danbury coach Dan Donovan, who succeeded Davis in 2009. “He absolutely adored all the kids at Danbury High School. He cared for each and every one of them.
“He would never let winning and losing cloud his judgment. He would do anything and everything for every one of them, just like he would for his own family.”
On a personal note, I adored Davis. He was one of the first coaches I connected with outside the Connecticut Post region. He was a big fan of this space and always met me with smiles and enthusiasm. He was a tremendously good natured man and will be missed dearly.